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SOC 231 Critical Criminology: Explorations of Political, Corporate, White-Collar and Environmental Crimes

Course Description: Most criminology courses attempt to answer the question, "What causes crime?" However, such course defines the term narrowly by focusing almost exclusively on "street" crime (i.e. robbery, burglary, rape, drug offenses). While these crimes are clearly harmful, we do not pay nearly enough attention to crimes committed by powerful groups and institutions. This course will focus exclusively on crimes of the ‘criminal elite’: political crime (war crimes; state terrorism; torture; police brutality); corporate crime (harmful working conditions and the production and sale of dangerous products); white-collar crime (fraud, bribery, corruption); and environmental crime (harms against environment and animals). Alternative theoretical approaches will be used to explore these types of crime including Green Criminology; Marxist Criminology; Left Realism; Postmodern Criminology; Feminist Theory; and Restorative Justice. We will explore the harms associated with these behaviors/crimes and critically analyze laws and public policies mean to confront them. In this course we will employ a critical approach wherein students will consider the impact of public policies on marginalized communities, groups (particularly people of color, women, working-class people and the poor), and environments.

Course Rotation: NY: Fall.


3 credits